Graduate Department of English

Dr. Helen Blythe, Department Chair
Douglas Hall, Room DH 139
FAX: 505.454.3414



Mission of the Department of English

The Department of English master of arts program offers advanced instruction in literature, linguistics, creative writing, and composition. It is designed to provide a strong foundation in advanced research methods for the study of English; a thorough background in the history and development of the English language; current theories in linguistics, literary criticism, and writing; and a variety of electives in the three emphasis areas.

The graduate program serves regional secondary school teachers, prospective community college teachers, students who plan to enter PhD programs and students who seek stronger credentials in English for careers in journalism, publication, and professional writing. Each year, graduate assistantships are awarded competitively to full-time students.  Along with tutoring in the Writing Center, graduate assistants undertake extensive teacher training in composition and gain considerable experience as composition instructors.


  • Helen Blythe (18th-20th century British Literature)
  • Jessica Hindman (Creative Writing-Creative Nonfiction)
  • Brandon Kempner (American Literature)
  • Daniel Martinez (Creative Writing-Poetry, Chicano/a Literature)
  • Jason McIntosh (Composition and Rhetoric, Pedagogy)
  • Barbara Risch (Linguistics, Language, and Writing)
  • Eddie Tafoya (Creative Writing-Fiction)
  • Donna Woodford-Gormley (Early British Literature)

Resources and Facilities

English and Philosophy are located in Douglas Hall, which houses classrooms, the Writing Center, the Language Learning Center, and offices for faculty and graduate assistants in the humanities.

The Department of English program provides the services of the Writing Center to students in all university courses as well as in English composition courses. The facility offers individual tutoring and small group work. Teaching assistants in the English M.A. program begin learning tutoring pedagogy while working at the Writing Center during their first semester.

The English program houses Picayune Review, an international humanities journal that publishes poetry, fiction, and essays. Graduate students earn practicum credit for their work in the production of the journal. The M.A. English program also sponsors a chapter of the international English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta.

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Students should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies in English prior to registration each term for advisement. During the first meeting, the director and student will develop a long-term plan for completing the program.

Required Core:

ENGL 502 Literary Theory (3)

ENGL 541 History of the English Language (3)

ENGL 601 Research Methods in English (3)

ENGL 699  Thesis (6)

Required course for teaching assistants:

ENGL 515 Methods of Tutoring & Teaching Writing (3)*

Core Total: 15-18 credit hours

*Students approved for ENGL 515 Methods of Tutoring & Teaching Writing take nine credit hours of electives instead of 12 credit hours.

Students take nine hours in their concentration area and electives from any of the concentrations. Please note that for Creative Writing Students, 3 of their 9 credits must be in ENGL 671. Electives may also include other faculty-approved courses.

Concentration in Literature

Choose three courses from the following:

ENGL 511 Major American Writers (3)

ENGL 512 Major British Writers (3)

ENGL 514 Literary Realism (3)

ENGL 521 Chaucer (3)

ENGL 522 Shakespeare (3)

ENGL 523 Milton (3)

ENGL 535 Selected Topics in English (3)

ENGL 5/650 Seminar in English (1-4)

ENGL 582 Literature of the Southwest (3)

ENGL 591 Arthurian Literature (3)

ENGL 610 Major American Poets (3)

ENGL 636 Varieties of Romanticism (3)

ENGL 641 History of Popular Literature (3)

Concentration Total: 9 credit hours
Electives: 9 – 12 credit hours

Program Total: 36 credit hours

Concentration in Linguistics, Literacy, and Composition

Choose three courses from the following:

MART 518 Print of Multimedia (3)

MART 546 Screenwriting (3)

ENGL 500 Creative Writing: Experimental Fiction (3)

ENGL 501 Creative Writing: Advanced Poetry (3)

ENGL 515 Methods of Tutoring & Teaching Writing (3)

ENGL 535 Selected Topics in English (3)

ENGL 543 Sociolinguistics (3)

ENGL 5/650 Seminar in English (1 – 4)

ENGL 565  Nonfiction Prose (3)

ENGL 585 Stylistics (3)

ENGL 651 Images & Words: Semiotics (3)

ENGL 661 Literacy and Orality (3)

ENGL 671 Creative Writing Workshop (3)

Concentration Total: 9 credit hours
Electives: 9 – 12 credit hours

Program Total: 36 credit hours

Concentration in Creative Writing

Students must take nine credits in creative writing courses, including at least three credits of ENGL 671: Creative Writing Workshop. This course may be repeated with a change of content.

Choose three courses from the following:

ENGL 500  Creative Writing:  Experimental Fiction

ENGL 501 Creating Writing:  Advanced Poetry

ENGL 510 Creative Nonfiction

ENGL 535 Creative Writing:  The Short Story

ENGL 585 Stylistics

ENGL 671 Creative Writing Workshop

Concentration Total: 9 credit hours
Electives Total: 9 – 12 credit hours

Program Total: 36 credit hours


All students must pass a written qualifying examination based on a reading list approved by the thesis committee, the director of graduate studies, and the department chair.

Language Requirement

In addition to the 36 credits required for the MA, students must demonstrate reading knowledge of a language other than English. The language requirement may be fulfilled by: 1) completing the final course of a four-semester undergraduate sequence in a language with a grade of “B”; 2) completing a 300- or 400- level course with a grade of “B”; 3) passing a test administered by the Department of English; or 4) passing a comparable test offered by another institution and approved in advance by the English graduate committee.